American Diabetes Association and Entelos to present insight discoveries to Diabetes Research Forum

Washington 16 June 2003The American Diabetes Association and the biotechnology firm Entelos Inc. have delivered the first set of insight discoveries to the Diabetes Research Forum (DRF). The insights, discovered as part of the ongoing development of the Metabolism PhysioLab technology, consist of novel targets and hypotheses into the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the Association announced the members of the Scientific Advisory Board selected to support the Scientific Alliance between Entelos and the Association.

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The Board, comprised of six key thought leaders in type 2 diabetes research, will work with the Alliance on the further development of the Metabolism PhysioLab technology as well as review and approve insights for delivery to the Forum. The Diabetes Research Forum is a groundbreaking collaboration between Entelos, the Association and a select number of pharmaceutical companies to advance research in the diagnosis and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

The Board met last month to review and approve the first set of insights for their scientific value, therapeutic applicability and pharmaceutical feasibility. The Board approved the release of five insights ranging from the potential pharmaceutical relevance of a novel target in the treatment of type 2 diabetes to the unanticipated effects of subcutaneous insulin therapy on a key metabolic process. The Alliance will deliver all insights to the Diabetes Research Forum later this month.

The Alliance Scientific Advisory Board members include Robert R. Henry, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Diabetes and Metabolism Section Chief, University of California-San Diego VA Medical Center; Steven E. Kahn, M.B., Ch.B., Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, University of Washington at Seattle; David E. Kelly, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism Division, Pittsburgh University; Ronald M. Krauss, Senior Scientist in the Life Sciences Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, adjunct professor in the University of California at Berkeley Department of Nutritional Sciences; Christopher B. Newgard, Ph.D., Director, Sarah W. Stedman Center for Nutritional and Metabolic Studies, Pharmacology and Cancer Biology professor, Duke University; and Robert A. Rizza, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation.

"With the staggering increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes, it has become increasingly important to take innovative approaches to understanding the disease", stated Richard Kahn, Ph.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Diabetes Association. "The Alliance with Entelos continues to offer valuable insights into the disease process. We are particularly honoured that several of the most prominent scientists in the field are a part of this groundbreaking effort to advance pharmaceutical research and development."

Entelos creates computer models that simulate human disease and predict patient responses to treatment. The Alliance uses Entelos' Metabolism PhysioLab simulation platform to generate novel theories, hypotheses and discoveries relating to type 2 diabetes and provide them to Forum participants in the form of insights. To support the specific research efforts of each Forum participant, Entelos dedicates in silico scientists to work with each participating company to customise the platform for use in their proprietary research programmes.

"The need for a pharmaceutical research team to continually discover, and thoroughly understand, the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes has never been greater", stated James Karis, President and CEO of Entelos.

"The heterogeneity of the disease coupled with co-morbidities associated with obesity, cardiovascular, and renal disease makes the identification of appropriate therapeutic targets all the more complicated. The Alliance and PhysioLab technology bring world-class scientific expertise and state-of-the-art technology to bear on this huge challenge. Through the DRF, Entelos continues to deliver immense value to the pharmaceutical industry. We are pleased that this Board will support the Alliance and look forward to the day when the combined efforts of the Alliance and Forum result in better treatments for patients with diabetes."

The American Diabetes Association and Entelos also have made a major research effort aimed toward preventing type 1 diabetes. Entelos, an expert in predictive systems biology, and the American Diabetes Association will co-develop a new PhysioLab platform in type 1 diabetes. The success of their ongoing scientific alliance in type 2 diabetes including the recently formed Diabetes Research Forum has prompted both organisations to establish this landmark research collaboration.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The destruction of beta cells results in the body's failure to produce insulin, the hormone that "unlocks" the cells of the body, allowing glucose to enter and fuel them. Approximately 17 million people in the United States, 6 percent of the population, have diabetes.

"We estimate that 5 to 10 percent of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have type 1 diabetes", stated Richard Kahn. "Our goal in this joint endeavour is to understand the onset of the disease and to identify therapies to prevent the initial destruction of pancreatic beta cells and thus eliminate the disease altogether."

"With the Entelos PhysioLab system, we will bring the leading, state-of-the-art biosimulation technology to bear on determining what causes, and how to stop, the onset of type 1 diabetes", stated James Karis of Entelos. "Through this collaboration, our goal is to identify, validate and deliver targets and biomarkers which will lead to the development of prognostics and treatments to prevent the initial onset of this terrible disease. We are very excited about expanding our relationship with the Association and continuing our combined efforts to eliminate the worldwide health threats of diabetes."

The American Diabetes Association is the United States' premier voluntary health organisation supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to hundreds of communities. The Association's commitment to research is reflected through its scientific meetings; education and provider recognition programmes; and its Research Foundation and Nationwide Research Programme, which fund breakthrough studies looking into the cure, prevention, and treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Entelos Inc., headquartered in Foster City, California, is specialised in predictive biosimulation for in silico drug discovery and development. The company's patented PhysioLab technology provides a breakthrough platform for testing experiments and hypotheses in silico, predicting the results through simulation, and creating knowledge out of fragmented discovery and clinical data.

Entelos provides integrated expertise in the metabolic, immunologic, and respiratory areas, and currently offers PhysioLab systems for asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. Access to Entelos technology and expertise is available through R&D collaborations, research agreements, and licensing. The company plans to expand its in silico R&D capabilities based on its PhysioLab technology for a wide variety of disease areas.


Leslie Versweyveld

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